Hip-Hop Report & Top 5: Onra, Cut Chemist, Young Fathers, Apathy, N.E.R.D, OMCA, RSD, ROTC + J5 MC, Boots Riley's Movie Trailer +

Posted by Billyjam, March 12, 2018 02:09pm | Post a Comment
#5: Onra Nobody Has To Know (also on vinyl/2LP) (All City Records) (2018)

#5 in the round-up of recent new 2018 hip-hop at Amoeba Music (including new on vinyl) is the brand new full-length Nobody Has To Know  (also on vinyl 2LP) from French producer Onra on his longtime Irish record label home All City Records. Nobody Has To Know follows last year's album Chinoiseries 3 (also on vinyl/2LP) and in comparison this new release is more on the jazzy tip as witnessed on the new album track "The Jam" (audio clip below, before the next four new releases in the countdown (each with accompanying audio or video tracks).

Five weeks away, the countdown to the 11th annual Record Store Day (happening Saturday April 21st) has begun with hip-hop RSD exclusives to include Compton's Most Wanted, Run The Jewels, Lyrics Born, and Too $hort whose landmark 1990 album Short Dog's In The House is been reissued (with poster) for the first time on vinyl in 28 years c/o the Get On Down label Read more here on RSD 2018.

With no set release date, described as the "ultimate golden era hip-hop styled" album, the upcoming next De La Soul album to be produced by Pete Rock and DJ Premier has been generating a buzz since first announced back in late 2017. Speaking of Preemo, I just interviewed the legendary hip-hop producer / Gang Starr co-founder (and one half of PRhyme whose anticipated sophomore album PRhyme 2 is about to drop) to be published here on the Amoeblog. Other new interviews to be published here will include LA emcee/producer Evidencein-demand unique producer L’Orange, and LA based Detroit emcee/producer Black Milk whose new album Fever comes via the Nas imprint Mass Appeal Records.

RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom is the soon to open hip-hop exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA). Running from March 24th through August 12th, 2018, the exhibit is described as  telling the story of the evolution of the culture, “Through photography, video, art, music, dance, fashion, and interactive gallery features, explore how Hip-Hop provides a platform for creative self-expression, activism, positive social change, youth development, entrepreneurialism, and education” and including “a spotlight on Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area’s influence on Hip-Hop culture.” More info.

There’s an abundance of other hip-hop events happening in the Bay Area, including ongoing events and series, such as this upcoming Sunday’s open mic cypher freestyle event put on by the dedicated folks at ROTC (Return Of The Cypher). Happening at their regular spot, the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco, this Sunday eve’s freeform emcee gathering, to be hosted by UnLearn The World, will feature emcee Akil of  Jurassic 5 (J5) fame. Venue info. Speaking of that legendary LA hip-hop crew, scroll down this Amoeblog to the top Top Five chart spot for info on another J5 member’s recommended new album.

Trailer for Boots Riley’s Movie Sorry To Bother You (2018)

Following its over the top positive reception at this year’s prestigious Sundance Film Festival, Boots Riley of The Coup’s acclaimed directorial debut Sorry To Bother You (with a soundtrack including The Coup and tUnE-yArDs but different from the Coup's 2012 album Sorry To Bother You) has just published its official trailer (above) as well as announcing its nationwide theater opening date of July 6th. However three months earlier, in mid April, Boots announced that his star-studded movie, whose cast includes Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Patton Oswalt, Terry Crews, David Cross, and Danny Glover (aka Childish Gambino), will be holding a couple of theater premieres in his native Bay Area including in his hometown of Oakland where the film was shot. However advance tickets to that April 12th screening at Oakland’s Grand Lake Theater is already sold out online but there are rush tickets left which can be purchased at the Lake Merritt theater’s ticket box. Meanwhile for the screening over in San Francisco at the Castro Theatre that same night (4/12) there are still tickets available, according to Boots who noted that he, “Along with as much of the cast as we can get there- will be at both screenings. We will all do a talk at the beginning of the Castro showing, then head to Oakland for the Grand Lake showing. At the end of the Castro showing, we will do a skype Q&A session w the Castro audience, then a live Q&A with the Oakland audience.”

Onra  “The Jam (Audio Only)” from the album Nobody Has To Know (also on vinyl/2LP) (All City)
#4: N.E.R.D NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES 2LP (out on CD) (Columbia/Legacy) (2017/2018)

Following the late 2017 release of the CD version of N.E.R.D's powerful return album, now comes the 150 gram vinyl version; NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES 2LP. Note that it comes with a free download card of the five-star 51 minute album. As noted of this album in the Amoeba review:,"Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo have served up something truly fresh with their first N.E.R.D record in seven years. Brimming with excellent star turns, incisive, insightful lyrics, and dope beats,

is the perfect hip-hop album for our strange times.N.E.R.D. take on police violence and white supremacy notably on “Don’t Don’t Do It!” featuring King Kendrick and “1000” (featuring Future) while still supplying the necessary body-moving beats." Below is the raw in your face accompanying official music video for that Future/N.E.R.D collaborative revolutionary track off the album.

N.E.R.D Future "1000" from NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES 2LP (also on CD) (Columbia/Legacy)

#3 Young Fathers Cocoa Sugar (also on LP/vinyl) (Ninja Tune) (2018)
Scottish hip-hop trio Young Fathers first album in three years  Cocoa Sugar (also on LP/vinyl) via Ninja Tune proves to be worth the wait from this crew who, like a lot of UK acts, transcend mere hip-hop by also embracing such other genres as electronic, soul, and alt rock. Maybe this fact is part of why (generally speaking) so many UK hip-hop acts, incredibly popular back in their native Britain, fail to fully connect with US hip-hop audiences. Last year prime examples included excellent releases from such UK hip-hop talents as  Stormzy's Gang Signs & Prayer (Merky Records) and Loyle Carner's Yesterday's Gone (AMF/EMI) who, while huge at home,  generated considerably less impact over here in the USA.

However given Cocoa Sugar's crossover, more accessible rock/pop fueled hip-hop sound, Edinburgh’s  Young Fathers will likely enjoy success with alt-rock US fans, if not with hip-hop's core market. The new  album is the group's third and follows their Mercury prize-winning debut Dead in 2014 and 2015's  White Men Are Black Men Too. Below is the audio only for the new album track "Toy."

Young Fathers “Toy [audio only]” from  Cocoa Sugar  (also on LP/vinyl) (Ninja Tune) (2018)

#2 Apathy
The Widow's Son (also on viny/2LP) (Dirty Version) (2018)

Hardworking longtime East Coast hip-hopper Apathy drops his latest album The Widow's Son (also on viny/2LP), coming less than six months on the heels of his last album, the dope O.C collaboration full-length project Perestroika. The equally powerful brand new 14 track, 50 minute The Widow's Son is the Connecticut emcee/producer's latest solo full-length via the Dirty Version record label.

Known for his numerous collaborations and side projects, including The Demigodz, Jedi Mind Tricks, and Army of the Pharaohs, not surprisingly  The Widow's Son includes some carefully selected album guests in both emcee and production roles. These include Celph Titled, M.O.P., Pete Rock, Pharoahe Monch, AG, Locksmith, Nottz, and DJ Premier who produced and supplied scratches to the triple-dope album track “The Order” [audio video below].   

Apathy "The Order (prod. DJ Premier)" from The Widow's Son (also on viny/2LP) (Dirty Version) (2018)

#1: Cut Chemist Die Cut (A Stable Sound) (2018)

Revered longtime LA hip-hop producer/DJ Cut Chemists Die Cut may be the latest in many solo and collaborative releases from the prolific former Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli member but it is only his second official solo full-length album. Die Cut is the artist born Lucas MacFadden's official follow up to 2006’s The Audience’s Listening. A perfect balance of Cut Chemist as solo artist and with such collaborators as Biz Markie, tUnE-yArDs, and Edan the album comes highly recommended. Over the past several months Cut Chemist has been unleashing advance tracks from Die Cut (typically in conjunction with video versions) such as the bugged out, raw rock, beat drenched "Metalstorm" featuring Edan and Mr. Lif, [video below] and the uptempo, scratch laced Chali 2na and Hymnal guesting “Work My Mind.”

While "hip-hop" is Die Cut's official category, like fellow veteran Cali DJ/producer, longtime buddy and frequent collaborator DJ Shadow, this Cut Chemist album could also be filed under such other categories as alternative rock and electronic. For example the killer instrumental track “Madman” has been rightfully compared to early 80's recordings by Visage and Ultravox as well as Aphex Twin. Note that Madman EP has been released as a limited 12" vinyl advance via The Content Label while so far the album is on CD only but a future vinyl version is anticipated.

Cut Chemist "Metalstorm (feat. Edan and Mr. Lif)

Relevant Tags

Record Store Day (168), Cut Chemist (23), Young Fathers (2), Jurassic 5 (7), Apathy (6), Dj Shadow (26), Army Of The Pharaohs (2), Onra (3), Boots Riley (14), The Coup (26), Dj Premier (18), Sorry To Bother You (1), Castro Theater (7), Grand Lake Theater (3), De La Soul (27), Hip-hop Report & Top 5: N.e.r.d (1), Record Store Day 2018 (10), Record Store Day (168), Rsd (19), Rotc @ Boom Boom Room (1), Sorry To Bother You Movie Trailer (1)